Flying Long Distance with 2 kids Part 1: The Fear
The fear is real
The fear is real.
I am in complete denial. When people ask me if I’m excited to go back to South Africa I go quiet. My eyes get the look bunnies get before a 2 year old picks them up for a hug.
I’m excited but it’s hiding behind the fear
Don’t get me wrong in the recess of my mind I am very excited to be going back.
I am so very excited to see my parents.
I’m also excited for the kids to see South Africa. Our littlest was only 4 months when we left so she really doesn’t know much about the landscape at all. My 4 year old thinks animals come from zoos, how heartbreaking – I feel like I must be doing something wrong.
I’m scared of how long the flight is
The flight from Sydney to Johannesburg is 14 hours. And it’s a day flight. And I’m doing it alone. My children are not those ones that sit nicely and wait for time to pass. It is not going to be easy.
It’s going to be 14 hours of
- “Mom, what holds the aeroplane up?”
- “Who is driving?”
- “Momma dummy dummy dummy.”
- “I’m hungry.”
- “I dont want to eat that.”
- “are we there yet.
And that’s in between chasing children down the walkway, plugging the earphones back in and begging the children to stop shouting.
It’s not 17 hours
I’ve done the 17 hours with a 18 month old who had just decided to start crawling (very late in life). On the return leg he also developed an adverse reaction to the medication he was on. Joy.
He spent 17 hours on my lap trying to escape.
And that wasn’t even the worst flying experience I’ve had.
Our worst flying experience
I can’t go into too much detail about our worst experience. The gist is
- it involved the Heimlich maneuver,
- a whole lot of vomit
- my son and I leaving the plane wearing only British Airways blankets
- the pilot carried the bags off the plane.
See the picture below as proof. Fun times. I actually still laugh at that memory.
I do now know not to give little kids sweets to suck on no matter how sore their ears are.
Preparing for the flight
What I have learnt though is that when it comes to kids and travelling you can’t overprepare. Being prepared is to be equipped and when it comes to little kids you need to be equipped to
- keep them entertained
- keep them alive
- stay sane.
With 5 days to go I’m planning as much as I can what should go in carry-ons, emergency medication, what activities to take, when the kids should eat on the flight and what they should eat and whether they should sleep and when. My mind is literally going a million miles an hour.
And that isn’t all. Leaving a husband at home needs some preparation too. I have nightmares of him going to work in a dirty / unironed shirt and eating Macdonalds twice a day for 3 weeks. I have faith in him though. Somehow he lived without me before we met and at least he’ll have 3 weeks to actually sleep at night.
If you have any sound advice on travelling with kids, I’m all ears!
If you don’t have any advice, wish us luck and check in next week to see if we’re alive.